updated 6/15/2006 2:21:19 PM ET 2006-06-15T18:21:19

In an emotional and candid interview with NBC’s Matt Lauer, pop icon Britney Spears talks about the state of her marriage, motherhood, the tabloids criticism about her skills as a mom, and why the paparazzi have gone too far. The exclusive interview will air on Thursday, June 15 on “Today” 7 a.m. and “Dateline” (9 p.m.)

In the interview at her home, Lauer asks Spears why she is speaking out now and she explains that the tabloids have gone too far by intruding on her private moments and taking photographs of her on private property. “They’ve crossed the line a little bit,” says Spears, “...they like to have the person they pick on, I feel like I’m a target.”

Despite the tabloids reports of trouble on the home front, Spears shares with Lauer that her marriage with Kevin Federline is “awesome,” and that the reports of Kevin living in the basement are false. She talks about why she loves him, and reveals to Lauer, “He helps me.  He has to.  I’m (an) emotional wreck right now.” When asked if she feels people are rooting against her marriage, Spears says she doesn’t know, “If they are that’s sad. I think everybody should be ‘pro love.’”

Spears also shares with Lauer that motherhood is amazing, and opens up about the incident on Pacific Coast Highway where she was photographed with her son, Sean, on her lap in the car. She discusses the events that led to the situation and ultimately says, “I can’t go anywhere without someone judging me...I did it with my dad. I’d sit on his lap and I drive. We’re country.” When asked if she was upset by the headlines that ensued questioning her parental judgment, Spears defends herself, saying, “I know I’m a good mom.”

Dateline
Lauer interviewed Spears, who is pregnant with her second child, at her home
Towards the end of the interview, Spears gets very emotional when she talks about wanting the paparazzi to leave her alone. Lauer asks her what would she say to them as individuals not a group and Spears reaches out, “You have babies at home.  And...you have a life.  And if you don’t, you have to realize that we’re people and that we ... just need privacy and we need our respect.  And those are things that you have to have as a human being.” 

More interview quotes:

On the media’s reports on her marriage
Lauer: Let me show you some magazines... These are all current.  All right?  I don’t have to show you all of them but we got one here.  Britney moves on without Kevin.  Brit’s new man—
Spears: Oh no.  That’s my security guard.


Lauer: The final days, fed up with Kevin’s lies, he’s sleeping in the basement.  We’ll get to these individually but basically this is the tone.  That this marriage is over.  There are problems in paradise and it’s not gonna last.
Spears: You know what?  I need to create my own magazine.  These people...I mean they want stories to sell and they’re very good...I need to come up with my own magazine and say the real deal.

On why she loves Kevin
Lauer:  What do you see in him?  What is it about Kevin that makes you love him?
Spears: It’s very simple. Women complicate everything. He’s so simple. His simplicity and just he’s like a boy. He just, you know, and he cares. He cares so much and his heart is awesome. He has a really big heart and I love that.
Lauer:  As a husband how is he?
Spears: Amazing. Very good

On tabloid criticism about her skills as a mom after the incident on Pacific Coast Highway
Lauer:  Well, let’s go to the tripping incident, okay, in New York. And you’ve alluded to it. But you’re coming — you’re walking with Sean in one arm and I think a drink in the other. And you tripped on what was it your pants?...it was a close call...- it seemed as if for a sec...
Spears:  Accidents happen!

Lauer:  Right... and the headline on that picture was “Oops, number three.”
Spears:  Exactly. There will be an “Oops number 100.”  There’ll be plenty more oopses. I’m not perfect. I’m human.

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